You Can’t Co-Parent From The Nothing Box


I call it the nothing box.  That’s where my Ex lives most of the time since we’ve been separated and now divorced.  Have you ever heard of the nothing box?

Well, I call it the nothing box because he simply went away, physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally, psychologically.  It’s like he put himself in a box where nothing happens, nothing seems touch him and there is little or no response from him.

I get it that we all need down time, private time to just mellow out.  But to LIVE THERE incessantly?  To not respond to your divorce lawyer?  To your children?  To your family?  To your friends?  I get it that he doesn’t want to respond to me sometimes.  I understand that part.  But when you tend to live in the nothing box, there’s a problem of epic proportions.

I’m sorry, but I’m tired of emails that don’t get answered, or replies that he’ll get back to me, but then days go by with utter silence.  Co-parenting with a solid wall of nothing is tough.  Watching your children stare at empty text messages because he doesn’t answer them is heart-breaking.  Not being able to help him, nor help them, breaks my heart.

Because I think there’s a deeper reason for his silence.  I think that he’s pushing down the reality of having left his wife and children and instead of dealing with the emotions and results of his decisions, he retreats to the nothing box, where nothing gets solved, nothing heals and the wounds simply fester into nothingness.

Co-parenting is a hard enough job when you’re divorced and when he’s moved out of state.  Still harder, when there are decisions to be made about the kids and he’s silent.  Waiting weeks for child support is even harder.  Sometimes I wonder if he’s just dead somewhere, but then days later, I’ll get an email response – a one liner that says he’ll get back to me because he’s busy.  Or if I get lucky, he’ll have texted one of the kids recently so that I know he’s still here on this earth.

I learned a long time ago not to rely on him.  I’m a single divorced parent with kids who live with me.  I deal with their day to day reality and now I only involve him if it’s something big that he absolutely needs to know.  Otherwise, he doesn’t ask and I don’t offer.  Even the kids don’t tell him anything anymore because they’ve been too disappointed by his silence.

Do you have an Ex who’s silent or who lives in the nothing box?  How do you deal with it?  Are you like me and just keep going and being mom and dad to the kids?  Any help is appreciated here.  Thanks.


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14 Responses to You Can’t Co-Parent From The Nothing Box

  1. fyidivorce says:

    In a high conflict abuse filled divorce a nothing box response would be a relief regarding coparenting. Think of it this way, your kids are learning how invaluable communication is at at early age (they won’t be the ones to ghost others because they know how it feels). Encourage them to communicate with cousins instead or write letters to their dad with a message in a bottle mentality. Forcing any relationship tends to backfire.


  2. That’s a tough one… I’m sorry you are dealing with it. 😦


  3. MoJo says:

    I’m sorry darling. I wish I had something wise to tell you, but I don’t. Just know that I am standing by you and hugging your heart even if I can’t be by your side. I’m here whenever you need to talk. Big hugs.


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